AIA Illinois' Master Class

Now that the industry is busier again, do you ever look around your office and wonder who is going to step up? Not just as a designer, but as a business-minded professional, someone who acts with the bigger picture in mind, and better understands how to add to your firm’s bottom line.

You probably don’t have time to undertake intensive training of some of your best up-and-coming leaders, to teach them what you’ve learned about winning and managing projects, finances, and client care.

We’ve finally solved the succession problem. 

Introducing AIA Illinois’ Master Class.

A new series of intensive workshops designed to teach future firm leaders the essential business skills that they don't teach in architecture schools. One day out of the office – lifelong business skills! 

Sunday, March 13 & Monday March, 14

Bloomington/Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center  
201 Broadway Ave
Normal, IL 61761

Only 25 spots available! View participant requirements and expectations:

Participant Requirements

View and print the brochure: AIA Master Class Brochure 

Fee: $795 including workshop materials and meals. Hotel registration and travel not included. 



The first intensive workshop in the Master Class series will give 25 participants a new respect for and understanding of their firm culture, and their own role in achieving collective success. In addition to teaching soft business skills, participants will develop a project proposal that could bring new business to your firm.

• Conduct interviews to learn firm’s origin story, mission and key values, and decision-making process
• Identify an actual or prospective project to develop
• Read assigned materials

• Present project proposal to principals
• Report back about the experience

• What it takes to run a firm so you can appreciate how decisions are made and impact on the bottom line
• About multipliers, P&Ls, overhead, cost of benefits, etc.
• How an employee is always an ambassador, even outside the office
• Soft skills and best practices for team-building
• Marketing for the client, not for your peers


The modules will be facilitated by seasoned and respected architects and professionals, which cover issues such as finances, firm roles, communications and client care.

Small group coaching will include presentation and practice labs where participants can target their most pressing need.



Ellen Bailey Dickson, FAIA, Bailey Edward

Ellen Bailey Dickson is founding principal of Bailey Edward, a woman-owned architecture, engineering, historic preservation and interior design firm. Dickson holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and studied at the Ecole d’Architecture et d’Urbanisme in Versailles, France. She has been recognized as AIA Young Architect of the Year, NAWBO Business Woman of the Year, one of the ‘Top 100 Women Making A Difference’and a ‘Woman of Influence’.



Aleen Bayard, Transformative Consulting

Aleen Bayard is the principal of Transformative Consulting, a business strategy and organizational development consulting practice hired by clients to design and manage complex organizational change and leadership development initiatives. Filling a need in the high-value added consulting market, Aleen partners with clients seeking senior counsel for projects in the cases when internal resources did not have capacity or expertise needed. Aleen is on the faculty of University of Chicago and Northwestern University. She is certified in the Hogan Personality Index, DiSC set of communication and leadership assessments and Barrett Cultural Values tool. She holds degrees from Stanford, Columbia and Northwestern.




Robert Clough, FAIA, Gensler

Bob serves as the Regional Operating Officer for Gensler's 380-person North Central Region. The focus of his three-decade career has been on the integration of business and design; and he works closely with office leaders and project managers to enhance both the quality of client service and business performance. A recognized leader in the design profession, he has received honors for his service from the American Institute of Architects on the local, state and national levels. Bob received a Master of Architecture and Master of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis.


Mike Webber, A/E Finance

After years as an A/E CFO, Mike Webber started A/E Finance to support firms with or without a CFO of their own. Using underutilized information already in each firm’s accounting system, Mike conducts firm-wide & project-by-project financial analyses, and develops & implements management systems that track individual project & overall firm performance. These same systems provide financial information essential prior to strategic planning. Mike is a past Chair of AIA Chicago's PMKC, and an AIA/ACEC Peer Reviewer. He is on both AIA’s Best Practices Committee, and ACEC’s Management Practices Committee.



Questions? Call or email 217.522.2309 x3 or